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Prof. Jost Comments on Delay in Implementing Health Reform

Prof. Tim Jost

Prof. Tim Jost

Here is the beginning of a post by W&L Law Professor Tim Jost at the Health Affairs Blog regarding the Obama Administration’s recent announcement of a delay in implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate:

Late in the day on July 2, 2013, Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the Department of the Treasury, announced in a memorandum ironically entitled “Continuing to Implement the ACA in a Careful, Thoughtful Manner” that implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate would not be implemented on time, but rather delayed until 2015.   Valerie Jarrett released a similar statement from the White House.

The Administration has been under tremendous pressure from the business community to delay implementation of ACA provisions affecting employers; it had already delayed the implementation of statutory provisions prohibiting insured employers from discriminating in favor of highly-compensated employees and requiring large employers to automatically enroll new full-time employees in a health insurance plan, subject to the employee opting out.   The Administration has now accommodated business one more time.

The reason given for the delay this time was difficulty in implementing ACA provisions requiring insurers and self-insured health plans to report information regarding individuals whom they cover and requiring large employers to report coverage offered to their full-time employees.  The administration asserts that an additional year will give employers and insurers the time they need to adapt to the reporting requirements and give the Departments time to simplify the reporting requirement.

Without reporting, however, enforcing the employer mandate will be impractical, so it is put off for a year.  The Administration promises guidance within the next week on how this will work and proposed rules this summer to implement the reporting requirement.

You can read the rest of the post by visiting the Health Affairs Blog.

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